Norman Cornish , Argyle Street - Oil on board, 46 x 79cm

Norman Cornish, Argyle Street - Oil on board, 46 x 79cm

Recognised as one of the most important artists to have emerged from the region in the post-war years, Norman Cornish’s extraordinarily wide-ranging output encompasses portraiture, landscape and figurative painting, with equally remarkable skills as a draughtsman.

The exhibition demonstrates how Cornish, an acute observer of people and places has developed certain themes and how, fascinatingly, he has returned again and again to the subjects that absorb him most. These subjects are rich and diverse and include paintings and sketches of men in bars, children playing, the pit road, as well as street-scenes and buildings in areas where he has lived and worked.

Born in 1919, in Spennymoor, Co Durham, Norman Cornish was apprenticed at the age of 14 at the Dean and Chapter Colliery (also known as the Butcher’s Shop), and spent the next 33 years working in various pits in the North East of England. Without diminishing the harsh realities of life and work during those years, his paintings create a sense of time and place by depicting the lyrical qualities of his surroundings in which time is defeated.

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